What is the difference between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Arthritis, or inflammation of the joints, is the number one cause of disability in the United States and affects more than 50 million people, 1 in 4 American adults. There are many different kinds of arthritis, including common types like osteoarthritis (OA), caused by wear and tear on the joints, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which leads an overactive immune system to create inflammation in joints.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, and it's probably the type you think about as soon as you hear the word "arthritis." Osteoarthritis is associated with a breakdown of cartilage in joints and can occur in almost any joint within the body. It commonly occurs in the weight bearing joints of the hips, knees, and spine. It can also affect the fingers, thumb, neck, and large toe.
Osteoarthritis usually doesn't affect other joints unless you have a previous injury, excessive stress, or an underlying disorder of the cartilage is involved. Cartilage is a firm, rubbery material that covers the ends of bones in normal joints. Its main function is to reduce friction in the joints and serve as a shock absorber.
Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage in a joint to become stiff and lose its elasticity, making it more susceptible to damage. Over time, the cartilage may wear away in some areas, greatly decreasing its ability to act as a shock absorber. As the cartilage deteriorates, tendons and ligaments stretch, causing pain. If the condition worsens, the bones could rub against each other.
Osteoarthritis and Mountain Ice
Mountain Ice can help relieve your symptoms by penetrating deep into your joints and reduce swelling. Along with other natural ingredients, specifically Turmeric and Glucosamine, Mountain Ice is known for its anti-inflammatory properties by containing these pain relievers. In fact, The Arthritis Foundation and the National Institute of Health have cited Turmeric and Glucosamine as supplements that can be used to treat Osteoarthritis.
Using Mountain Ice in conjunction with an over the counter medication, can significantly improve mobility and range of motion. While Osteoarthritis can be painful and require medical attention or physical therapy, applying Mountain Ice to the affected area will still provide home care and immediate relief.
Rheumatoid arthritis may be different from the arthritis you usually picture. It's a chronic inflammatory disorder that can affect not only your joints, but sometimes a wide variety of body systems, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels. Rheumatoid arthritis is considered an autoimmune disorder, and occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body's tissues.
Unlike the damage of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of your joints, causing a painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity. The inflammation that is associated with rheumatoid arthritis is what can damage other parts of the body as well. While new types of medications have improved treatment options dramatically, severe rheumatoid arthritis can still cause physical disabilities.
Signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:
- Tender, warm, and swollen joints
- Joint stiffness that is usually worse in the mornings and after inactivity
- Loss of appetite.
Early rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect your smaller joints first, particularly the joints that attach your fingers to your hands and your toes to your feet. As the disease progresses, symptoms often spread to the wrists, knees, ankles, elbows, hips and shoulders. In most cases, symptoms occur in the same joints on both sides of the body. About 40% of the people who have this condition also experience signs and symptoms that affect many non-joint structures, including skin, eyes, lungs, heart, kidneys, salivary glands, nerve tissue, bone marrow, and blood vessels.
Rheumatoid arthritis signs and symptoms may vary in severity and may even come and go. Periods of increased disease activity, called flareups, alternate with periods of relative remission - that is, when the swelling and pain fade or disappear. Over time, rheumatoid arthritis can cause joints to deform and shift out of place.
Mountain Ice and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease and is most commonly treated with a special class of drug called DMARDs, or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. However, this doesn't mean you can't help manage the disease with other treatments, including Mountain Ice. Each ingredient contained in Mountain Ice has anti-inflammatory as well as anti-oxidant properties, all of which help to increase blood flow, reduce swelling, and slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.